James Carlo Wilson inquest: South Shields man shot dead by police was lawfully killed, inquest rules

A 24-year-old man who was shot in the street by police was lawfully killed, an inquest has ruled.

James Carlo Wilson, 24, from Candlish Street, South Shields, died three days after being shot by a police marksman in Frenchman's Way, South Shields.

James Carlo Wilson, inquest, who was shot by police in South Shields.

James Carlo Wilson, inquest, who was shot by police in South Shields.

READ MORE: 999 call reveals moment James Carlo Wilson was shot

An inquest jury heard Mr Wilson made two 999 calls in which he threatened to shoot police, and insisted he would not give up his gun.

Armed police first fired a non-lethal baton round at Mr Wilson, but it had little effect other than to make him more angry.

READ MORE: My son did not commit suicide, says James Carlo Wilson's mum

Five seconds later a second police officer fired a rifle bullet into Mr Wilson's chest, causing him to fall to the ground.

He died in hospital three days later on April 1.

The inquest jury, sitting at Mansion House in Jesmond, took more than six hours to reach its verdict after hearing evidence for two weeks.

READ MORE: How the tragedy unfolded in a South Shields street

A statement from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) read: "An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation, following the death of James Wilson, found the Northumbria Police response was appropriate.

"Mr Wilson, aged 24, was shot by firearms officers following an incident on Frenchman’s Way, South Shields on 29 March 2016. He sustained injuries to his chest and later died in hospital. A non-police issue firearm was recovered from the scene and was later identified as an air pistol resembling a real handgun.

"Our investigation was completed in July 2017 and we have had to wait for the inquest into Mr Wilson’s death, which recorded a verdict of lawful killing, before publishing our findings. The officers involved were witnesses to the investigation throughout this case and they each provided a written statement to us. Our investigation did not find evidence of misconduct or performance issues for any individual officer.

"We analysed a large amount of evidence, including CCTV footage, recordings of the calls from Mr Wilson to Northumbria Police, and the statements from the officers involved. We found Mr Wilson had made a number of calls to Northumbria Police from the early hours of 29 March and was considered to be emotionally and mentally distressed. He made threats to police; confirming that he was in possession of ‘a gun’ and would shoot any police officers who approached him."

The IOPC concluded that:

• The officers’ belief that Mr Wilson posed a threat to the public, and to themselves, was reasonable.
• Three officers made attempts to approach Mr Wilson at considerable risk to themselves.
• Less lethal options were considered and used prior to Mr Wilson being shot.
• The officers provided Mr Wilson with first aid at the scene.

IOPC Regional Director Miranda Biddle said: "Our thoughts remain with Mr Wilson's family and friends and all those affected by this tragic incident. We recognise that this must have been an extremely stressful incident for everyone involved.

"The available evidence was analysed in great detail; and every effort was made to establish the full facts of the incident. The investigation team worked really hard and showed great tenacity to produce a final report that provides a succinct account and thorough scrutiny of events."